It’s all about the Great Gatsby. We’re all going flapper crazy, our teen crushes on Leonardo DiCaprio have been reignited and we can’t wait for the UK film opening of Baz Luhrmann’s new take on this classic 1920s film.
So we’re not in New York (sadly) but what is London offering to help fuel our new found craze of the roaring 20s? Well in true London style, hotels, restaurants and bars are all embracing the film’s imminent success with Gatsby inspired menus. I was lucky enough to be invited to the Hyatt Regency The Churchill, Marylebone, where they were holding their Great Gatsby inspired night in their onsite restaurant, The Montagu.
In Oh So London style, I donned my best Chanel-style dress and high heels and walked through the grand revolving doors on Portman Square with my suited and booted other half. Across shiny marble floors we arrived at the Montagu restaurant where the hotel’s resident band – the Hotdog Corndogs – provided some upbeat music.
Providing me with my own flapper feather headband, our very lovely waitress seated us with a glass of champers and the three course Gatsby themed menu.
The interiors of the Montagu are beautiful. Think art deco style chandeliers, crisp white linen table cloths, fresh rose table decorations and elaborate wall and ceiling cornicing – perfect for harking back to the 1920s era.
So, what did we eat?
The Montagu did a good job of creating a balanced but authentic 1920s New York style selection of cuisine. For starters I went for the ‘Manhattan Clam Chowder with mussels, tomatoes and parsley’ while Mr C went for the Traditional Steak Tartare with homemade brioche.
I have to say, the clam chowder was a bit disappointing. But hey, the traditional steak tartare was fabulous. Not usually a fan of this raw French delicacy, I tried a tiny morsel from my other halve’s plate. But wow, I’d have gone back for more if I wasn’t saving myself for the mains. It was full of flavour, tangy and light – and the brioche was heavenly. What a nice surprise.
For mains, we chose the New York Steak Diane with pearl onions and French fries and the Jimmy Butler’s slow-cooked crispy pork belly with suffolk pork fillet, spring onion mash and apple and pig’s trotter jus (wow – try remembering that one!)
While the Steak Diane was beautifully cooked with a deep rich gravy and (very salty) fries, the pork was the winner hands down. Presented beautifully with apple crisps, it scored points before it even left the plate.
The spring onion mash was a bright green, added a fab splash of colour to the plate. (It was also lovely and smooth). The crispy pork itself had a great crunch and was a wonderful contrast to the pork fillet. As for the flavour – wow. It certainly was a pork and apple delight!
And there was more beauty to come. Check out these desserts:
Here we have the white chocolate cheesecake with blueberry compote and pecan pie with whipped cream. While the cheescake was fluffy and rich, the pecan pie was heavy, but crunchy, gooey and delicious and came with a delightful white chocolate spoon. The surrounding presentation was just magical. What can I say, sprinkles and schmears more impressive than a double episode of Masterchef.
This course was absolutely delicious.
I can’t end this post without mentioning the wine – a fab bottle of Alto Bajo merlot – lovely and smooth and perfect with the steak. And of course, the waitress, who was an absolute delight to talk to.
Atmosphere wise, this is a great place to dine. The open kitchen adds a contemporary vibe, the comfy seats by the fire are very inviting for an after-dinner digestif, and the service is sleek yet friendly.
The Great Gatsby evening at the Hyatt Regency was a lovely experience. We watched as ladies poured in wearing flapper-style fringe dresses and feathered headbands. Men donned striped barber-shop blazers too. It was just the tonic for getting me in the mood for the new film.
Montagu Restaurant, Hyatt Regency Churchill, 30 Portman Square, London, W1H 7BH, 0207 299 2037